SURS – Public Pension System Looking for Comprehensive Online Training

SURS Business Objects Case study

SURS (State Universities Retirement System)

"Instant Access from WCI Consulting is there to help with Business Intelligence whenever you need it. It’s very simple to start a dialogue and you never have to put off an issue to be dealt with later.” - Doug Steele, SURS


SURS (State Universities Retirement System) is a public pension system in Illinois covering state university and community college employees with retirement benefits, death and disability benefits. Recently, SURS replaced its business intelligence solution - from IBM Cognos to SAP BusinessObjects Edge. Doug Steele, Director of Applications and Research, knew that the change would require training for the staff to be productive with SAP BusinessObjects. Steele was seeking a cost effective option for training and on-going user support of the new business intelligence capability.

Steele looked for a solution that would be able to provide comprehensive online training with a flexible program to accommodate his team’s busy schedule. It was also important that besides training there would be opportunities to ask questions as they came up, whether it was just days or months after training. Steele knew that having an onsite consultant to address intermittent concerns just wasn’t an option; he really wanted something that could be used remotely and only when help or training was needed.

Steele started by conducting an internet search for SAP BusinessObjects training and found WCI Consulting, who provided SAP BusinessObjects online training, support and consulting through an offering called Instant Access.

This solution perfectly met the need for a self-paced remote learning system while remaining within the confines of the budget.

“Having an onsite consultant to provide Business Objects training wasn’t a realistic solution for an organization like ourselves. Instant Access was exactly what we needed.” - Doug Steele, SURS


Instant Access from WCI Consulting provided SURS with Introduction, Intermediate and Advanced online SAP BusinessObjects training sessions. Each lesson was customized to SURS unique environment and attendees were able to use the hands-on concepts live while in training to increase retention and understanding of various subjects.

What appealed to SURS was that Instant Access provides a complete package of training and support that is simple to use and delivers rapid responses to questions.

After several months of use the highlights as noted by Steele include:

Efficient Training
“The online training sessions were an effective use of my time and I didn’t have to worry about asking all of the questions then and there, as I knew I had Instant Access to aid me whenever they did come up.”

Quick Problem Resolution
“Everything I’ve come across so far has been answered quickly and I’ve been able to learn what to do so I don’t need to ask for help the next time the same issue comes up.”

Knowledge Instant Access Staff
“Even the most complicated scenarios were able to be resolved. I thought I would have them stumped, but they always came back with a solution.”

Thorough Answers
“When going over how to construct a particular report, WCI didn’t just do it for me but went over the steps involved so I could recreate the process myself when I came across it again.”

“Instant Access from WCI Consulting is there to help with Business Intelligence whenever you need it. It’s very simple to start a dialogue and you never have to put off an issue to be dealt with later”


As a result of implementing Instant Access from WCI Consulting, SURS has experienced:

Improved Understanding of SAP BusinessObjects
The subjects in the online training provided SURS with in-depth knowledge of Dashboards, Web Intelligence, Explorer, Crystal Reports, Universe Training, Data Services and more. Since the topics were covered in a flexible schedule, SURS was able to work at their own pace and avoid departmental disruption to maintain the day-to-day output.

Enhanced Productivity
SURS relies on the data stored in SAP BusinessObjects software and when small complications affect the efficiency of the system, the entire organization feels the effects. Through Instant Access, issues are resolved before they can become prolonged problems and in turn impact client satisfaction.

Increased End User Adoption
Through online training that was specifically tailored to the SURS environment, session attendees were able to grasp concepts effectively since the lessons were directly related to the current company situation.

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